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FACEValue: Gutter installer dies after falling from roof

Case report: #19KY034*
Issued by: Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program
Date of incident: July 20, 2019

On the day of the incident, the owner of a gutter and siding installation company and his 47-year-old employee were installing guards on the existing gutters of a two-story home. The owner of the company did not provide fall protection, and the victim was not wearing any. After working on the second story of the home for about three hours, the owner left to pick up additional supplies. As he left, the victim’s girlfriend arrived. About five minutes later, the owner received a phone call from the victim’s girlfriend, who said the victim had fallen from the second-story roof (an 8-foot, 3-inch drop), struck the first-story roof, rolled off and fell an additional 10 feet to the concrete driveway below. The owner immediately called 911 and returned to the residence, where he found the victim unconscious on the driveway, appearing to be suffering from a grand mal seizure. Emergency medical services transported the victim to a local hospital. He then was airlifted to a larger metropolitan hospital, where he died seven days later. The cause of death was listed as blunt force injuries of the head resulting from a fall caused by reported seizure activity.

To help prevent similar incidents, employers should:

  • Train employees on – and enforce the use of – fall protection when working at heights above 6 feet.Implement a Job Hazard Analysis process.
  • After learning of physical disabilities that pose a direct threat to an employee’s safety, perform an assessment to evaluate his or her ability to safely perform assigned job duties, and provide appropriate modifications.

Download the full report.

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